New Delhi, India ( Associated Press) – Mobile internet services and large gatherings were banned in India’s western Udaipur city on Wednesday, a day after police arrested two Muslim men for the murder of a Hindu tailor.
The Hindu man, Kanhaiya Lal, was stabbed inside his tailoring shop on Tuesday by two men who had also filmed the attack, news agency Press Trust of India reported. Later both the men claimed responsibility for the murder in another video and in the same way threatened to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The killing comes at a time when religious polarization is increasing in India amid attacks on minority groups, especially Muslims.
Tension escalated in May when two spokespersons of Modi’s party made speculative remarks, which were seen as insulting Islam’s prophet Muhammad and his wife Ayesha. Both were later suspended by Modi’s party as it caused serious diplomatic backlash for India. from many Muslim-majority countries. The dispute also led to protests in India which turned violent in some places when protesters pelted stones at the police., At least two people died.
Lal’s killing has caused tension in Udaipur and the state of Rajasthan, forcing the authorities to send additional police to the city to counter any religious unrest.
TV reports broadcast a video of Lal lying on the ground with his throat slit. Police said that both the accused were arrested within hours of the incident.
The arrested people accused Lal of blasphemy in the video. Local media reported that the victim had shared a social media post allegedly endorsing a suspended spokesperson of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, who had made controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad last month.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot ensured a speedy investigation into Lal’s murder. He said criminals would be punished and urged people not to share the video on social media due to highly inflammatory content.
“I again appeal to everyone to maintain peace,” Gehlot said in a tweet on Tuesday.
India’s home ministry has sent a team from its counter-terrorism agency to Rajasthan to investigate whether the killing had any links to terrorist groups. So far, the state police have not charged the two arrested people with terrorism.
A Muslim laborer was brutally murdered by a Hindu man in the state of Rajasthan in 2017. In a religious attack and shared a video of the victim being killed and then set on fire.